Hearts' Jamie Walker to miss Celtic trip

By David Walton

August 18, 2019

Hearts winger Jamie Walker has suffered a broken leg that will see him out until December.

The winger fractured his leg during the 2-1 win at Motherwell on Friday night, and that now means that he’ll be sidelined when Hearts come to Parkhead on Sunday.

Former Wigan Athletic man Walker won’t need surgery for his leg break. However, Jambos manager Craig Levein has confirmed that he’ll be out for an extended period of time (Heartsfc.co.uk).

Jamie Walker won’t play for Hearts this weekend (Steve Welsh/Getty Images)

“I’m obviously very disappointed for Jamie, especially when it looked like he was beginning to hit the form that we know he’s capable of.

“We’ve now lost three key players in our last three games; John Souttar was taken off against Aberdeen, Steven Naismith against Ross County and Jamie on Friday night so I only hope that our luck will change soon on the injury front”

Hearts not in good shape ahead of Celtic crunch

It’s fair to say that Levein’s side are struggling for quality ahead of their Celtic Park visit next weekend. Like the former Scotland manager says, his team is now without both Walker and Naismith.

Former Rangers man Naismith only just missed Hearts’ 2-1 Betfred Cup win at Motherwell, however. It remains to be seen if he shrugs off his niggling injury before Sunday.

Steven Naismith could also miss out once again this Sunday (Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

Centre-back John Souttar, meanwhile, damaged ankle ligaments in the opening-day defeat to Aberdeen – a match in which both Walker and Naismith scored in.

Defensively, Hearts have some positive reinforcements. Both Christophe Berra and Craig Halkett will likely start at Parkhead. That’s a good blend of experience for Levein to call upon.

Craig Levein has some big problems ahead of Sunday (Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

However, replacing Naismith and Walker would be more tricky for the Hearts boss. The likes of Steven MacLean could come in for Naismith, but he has nowhere near the same level of influence as the Scotland international.

Celtic won’t be looking too far ahead to Sunday. A colossal first-leg against AIK Stockholm awaits them on Thursday night. But there’s no denying Hearts will come to Celtic Park severely weakened. A chance, then, for Celtic to build on their opening two wins in this season’s Premiership campaign.